U.S. Museum Exhibitions

The following guide to museum shows currently on view is compiled from Artforum’s three-times-yearly exhibition preview. Subscribe now to begin a year of Artforum—the world’s leading magazine of contemporary art. You’ll get all three big preview issues, featuring Artforum’s comprehensive advance roundups of the shows to see each season around the globe.

“Artists and Books”

Through June 26
Curated by Rena Hoisington

Until the middle of the twentieth century, very few artists made their own books—and even now, only a handful think in the book format. However, numerous lavish or modest, limited- or trade-editioned books have been produced in collaboration with major artists. Many of the works in this exhibition represent the exquisitely constructed livre d’artiste first fostered by dealer-publishers in the early twentieth century; standing apart on conceptual and material grounds, and distanced from the deluxe portfolio traditions of printmaking, fine-press production, and the craft-driven arts of the book, are works by foundational figures such as Ilia Zdanevich (Iliazd), Ed Ruscha, Dieter Roth, and Fernand Léger. These artists brought conceptual engagement to their projects, thinking in terms of sequence, openings, framing, and the cultural semiotics of technology specific to the form of the book. The distinction between an artist-driven work and a publisher-initiated one remains vital in understanding the works in this field, and this exhibition, which includes important examples of both, should make clear where the greater interest lies—and where most museums’ print collections fall short.

Johanna Drucker

Digital rendering of Theaster Gates’s sculpture Black Vessel for a Saint, 2017, as it will be installed in the Walker Art Center/Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.


Curated by Olga Viso

After a year of extensive renovation, a transformed Minneapolis Sculpture Garden opens in June with the aim of tying the garden, built by Edward Larrabee Barnes in 1971, to the Walker Art Center via a new plaza, entrance, and expanded lobby, all designed by HGA Architects and Engineers. While Barnes based his garden on extant European examples, HGA has instead emphasized the flora of the region, employing native plants and trees and using environmentally sustainable materials and building practices.Beloved fixtures of the original garden, such as Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen’s Spoonbridge and Cherry, 1985–88, will keep company with more recently acquired pieces by American and European artists, including a spectacular new iteration of Katharina Fritsch’s Hahn/Cock, 2013/ 2016, originally commissioned for the Fourth Plinth in London’s Trafalgar Square.

Anne M. Wagner

Ginny Casey, Balancing Act, 2017, oil on canvas, 70 × 75".


Through August 6
Curated by Charlotte Ickes

A bulbous, raunchy anthropomorphism runs through the paintings of Ginny Casey and the sculptures of Jessi Reaves. Casey’s paintings, featuring cool-toned, swollen hands and vases, and Reaves’s furniture-based constructions both confront the life of the decorative object. While these emerging artists clearly share a fascination with the everyday, the most striking common aspect of their practices is an uncanny, subtly grotesque emphasis on the body as it assumes the forms of (or interacts with) household objects. This two-person show features more than thirty recent works, several made for the occasion, and comes on the heels of Reaves’s critically heralded interventions at this year’s Whitney Biennial. Accompanied by a catalogue featuring essays by Ickes and art historian Julia Bryan-Wilson, the show pushes beyond the rote feminist strategy of the appropriation and inversion of the domestic to explore something far creepier.

Cat Kron


June 30 - October 2
Curated by Sylvie Patry

In 2014, the Algerian-born, Paris-based artist Mohamed Bourouissa began a long-term project about black cowboys in northern Philadelphia, producing a slew of videos, photographs, drawings, and sculptures. He spent the better part of a year with the young men of the Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club, not only capturing a world that belies the mythology of the white western cowboy but also earning the trust of the riders—to the extent that he and they were able to create new works together, such as ritualized costume competitions and “horse-tuning” events, which borrow from the style and attitude of showing off tricked-out cars. Bourouissa’s first major solo show in the US promises to be both concise and expansive, focusing solely on the Fletcher Street project, displayed in its entirety—comprising more than fifty works, including new ones—for the first time in the city where it was made. The accompanying catalogue, which sets “Urban Riders” in the wider context of Bourouissa’s practice, is the first publication on the artist’s work in English.

Kaelen Wilson-Goldie

Ydessa Hendeles, From her wooden sleep . . . (Crypt) (detail), 2016, antique oak display case, antique wooden artist’s mannequins, antique rosary, dimensions variable.


June 24 - September 4
Curated by Gaëtane Verna

In 1988, Ydessa Hendeles opened a private foundation (shuttered in 2012) to support Canadian and internationally based artists:There, she orchestrated uncanny exhibitions combining contemporary art, historical artifacts, and found objects, at times interweaving her own projects with those of the artists she championed. The Power Plant’s exhibition marks the first time the entire venue has been devoted to the work of a female artist, and ample space will be provided for a number of Hendeles’s complex works from the past decade, including From her wooden sleep . . . , 2013, and “THE BIRD THAT MADE THE BREEZE TO BLOW,” 2012. Hendeles was born in Germany in 1948 and immigrated to Canada with her parents, both Auschwitz survivors, in 1951—meaning that she spent her childhood in the wake of European fascism and came of age during the cultural upheaval of the 1960s. It should come as little surprise, then, that the politics of power and identity underpin Hendeles’s work, which performs a kind of psychoanalysis of the past, via its images and objects, proffering a new lens through which to view the present. 

Kathy Noble

Peter Fischli and David Weiss, Flowers and Mushrooms (detail), 1997–98/2006, projection of 162 digital slides.


Through November 26
Curated by Heidi Zuckerman

Niklas Luhmann, the influential German sociologist and a pioneer in the field of systems theory, asked us to think of normalcy as implausible. A comparable postulate is at work in the respective practices of American artist Wade Guyton and the storied Swiss duo Peter Fischli and David Weiss, the latter of whom died in 2012. No wonder, then, that the Aspen Art Museum thought to bring the artists together. Fischli and Weiss’s oeuvre celebrates normality as a deception that can be productively mined. Guyton’s art is an odd ode to the normality of art. Both practices employ distance in the service of annoyingly beautiful artworks. This summer, visitors to the museum’s über-normal hometown in the Rockies will have the chance to ponder how they do so, and thus what is at stake. 

Daniel Baumann